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Stampfli v. Paccar, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

May 21, 2018

LANCE MICHAEL STAMPFLI, Plaintiff,
v.
PACCAR, INC. d/b/a KENWORTH TRUCK COMPANY and WISCONSIN KENWORTH, LLC d/b/a WISCONSIN KENWORTH, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          WILLIAM M. CONLEY District Judge.

         Plaintiff Lance Michael Stampfli originally filed a complaint against defendants PACCAR and Wisconsin Kenworth in the Portage County Circuit Court for breach of warranty.[1] (See dkt. #1-1.) The defendants filed a timely notice of removal to this court, alleging diversity jurisdiction based on Stampfli's fraudulent joiner of defendant Wisconsin Kenworth.[2] (See dkt. #1.) Stampfli then sought remand (dkt. ##6-7), which defendant PACCAR opposes. (Dkt. #10).

         BACKGROUND[3]

         A. Truck Purchase

         In September 2016, Stampfli, a Wisconsin resident, purchased a new 2017 Kenworth model t880 truck for $193, 925 from Wisconsin Kenworth, a Wisconsin limited liability company whose sole member, CSM Companies, Inc., is a Wisconsin corporation, with its principal place of business in Madison, WI. Wisconsin Kenworth appears to be an authorized dealer of Kenworth Truck Company (“Kenworth”) trucks, parts and service, as well as PACCAR engines, parts and service. Plaintiff alleges that the truck he purchased was manufactured or distributed by PACCAR, “a foreign business corporation licensed to do business in the State of Wisconsin, ” with its principal place of business in Bellevue, Washington. (Compl. (dkt. #1-1) ¶¶ 2, 7.)[4]

         The motor vehicle purchase contract between Stampfli and Wisconsin Kenworth states that the truck was “sold AS IS, ” with “the dealer assum[ing] no responsibility for any repairs” and “disclaim[ing] implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.” (Purchase Contract (dkt. #2-1) 1.) The contract also twice specifies that the “[d]ealer is not a party to any manufacturer warranties.” (Id.)

         Upon purchase, Stampfli also received a Kenworth Limited Warranty and a PACCAR Engine Limited Warranty. The Kenworth limited warranty provides in part:

         (Image Ommited)

         (Kenworth Truck Warranty (dkt. #2-2) 1.) The PACCAR limited warranty provides:

         (PACCAR Engine Warranty (dkt. #2-3) 1.) Both warranties are signed by Wisconsin Kenworth's “Director of Fleet Sales.” (Kenworth Truck Warranty (dkt. #2-2) 2; PACCAR Engine Warranty (dkt. #2-3) 2, 4, 5.) Nevertheless, PACCAR maintains that its authorized dealer Wisconsin Kenworth was not a party to either warranty.

         B. Alleged Breach of Express Warranty

         Stampfli has identified thirteen problems that he alleges constitute “Warrantable Failures”:

A. The Truck's steering wheel is not straight.
B. The Truck drifts right or left when it should proceed straight. . . .
C. Sometimes the power takeoff does not engage and it does not engage above the third gear.
D. Sometimes the Truck will not exceed approximately 2 mph [when] the power takeoff is engaged, making it impossible to perform a typical “dump and run” . . . .
E. The Truck's transmission “clunks” between the 7th and 8th [g]ears. The transmission sometimes “skips.” F. The Truck's ...

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